*Pro Tip: Once you've read this article, if you want help getting those qualified leads to sign the deal, click here to learn about a 14 day free trial of our software — it's helped many of our clients close new contracts!
If you’re managing a small to medium size commercial cleaning company, you’re likely juggling a variety of tasks on a daily basis, and responding to RFPs, phone calls, and website inquiries are just a few of them.
And while these tasks are crucial to your company’s success and growth, they are also time-consuming and in some cases, resource-intensive. That’s why it’s important to prioritize the leads that are most likely to result in a signed contract, and beyond that, the ones that will become your best long-term customers.
Many resources on this topic reference the BANT method: factoring in their Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline.
In an effort to provide you with guidelines specific to the janitorial industry, we came up with our own acronym. Unfortunately the “PPP Method” isn’t the sexiest name, so instead we present to you:
The Three P’s of Qualifying Janitorial Leads: Persona, Problem & Price
Step 1: Know Which Personas You Want to Hire You
In other words, have an ideal client in mind. Take the time to sit down and describe in detail what type of clients are your best clients. You may have 2 or 3 ideal clients, but each should have a specific persona.
For instance, one common persona amongst commercial cleaning companies is the office manager. These days they are more than likely a tech-savvy millennial who is doing their research online before contacting you. Their cleaning needs may vary, but they tend to understand that the cleanliness of their office space is a reflection of the business as a whole, and expect their ideal contractor to understand that too.
Other personas might be managers of specific types of buildings like hospitals, churches, or airports, or small business owners with unique buildings and needs.
Setting your sights on specific customer types will not only help you qualify leads, but will result in you working more of those clients, which over time allows you to position yourself as an expert in servicing that particular industry.
Step 2: identify Their (Real) Problem?
You may think you know the answer to this question (ummm, their building needs to be cleaned?) but getting to the root of their problem — beyond simply “they need to hire a cleaning company” — can be really useful when qualifying a lead.
Perhaps they are in the market for a new cleaning company because their current contractor doesn’t offer regular inspections, and quality assurance is really important to them. Their problem is not simply “they need cleaning services,” it’s “they need someone to be responsible for assuring a certain level of cleanliness.”
Figuring out their real problem requires you to pause and evaluate both their challenges and their goals for hiring a cleaning company, and determine if you really are a good fit for the job. It’s better to know this before signing a contract than have a customer churn a few months in because you simply don’t operate the way their ideal contractor would.
Step 3: Be Transparent About the Price
Too often commercial cleaning companies are forced to compete on price rather than the quality of service they’ll provide. To help manage expectations before even getting to the proposal / quote stage, it can be helpful to give them a sense a similar contract might cost, and asking if it’s in line with what they were thinking. This can save you the time and effort of putting together a proposal or quote if they simply don’t have the budget for your services.
If you’re not able to give a relatively accurate estimate on the spot, you can also indicate the price range the customer can expect, or even the price that those services start at. For instance, "Weekly floor cleaning starts at X dollars, but can go up to as much as X depending on the square footage."
Ultimately it's you who will be the best judge of whether or not to respond to an RFP or invest a lot of time into providing a quote. You’ll want to take other things into consideration too. For instance, if the person doing the hiring seems like a bit of a jerk, that may be a red flag that you shouldn't work with them.
At the end of the day, our hope is that at the very least, you'll choose quality of leads over quantity, and do your best to prioritize (or in some cases, only respond to) RFPs that will result in valued customers for your business.
bonus Step: Close the sale
Okay, okay. There were only supposed to be three steps to qualifying janitorial leads. But we all know that's only half the battle.
If you're looking for help with getting those qualified leads to sign the deal, we can help you there too. Click here to learn about a 14 day free trial of our software — it's helped many of our clients close new contracts!